Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Really Nice Time In Oregon!!!

Well, we have been here in Beaverton, OR now since last Friday afternoon.  Our time has gone by quickly, as it usually does, but it has been really good as well.  :-)  We came down for many reasons this trip, and we have been able to accomplish all that we had planned and wanted to do thus far, for the most part..... only a couple of exceptions!

We came this trip to see Grammy & Papa's new home, in which they have lived in for only one week prior to our arriving!!!  It feels so right, and so much like home that we haven't missed their Pumpkin Ridge home at all this entire time!  Their new home is in such a better location, and so much closer to everything we want and need to do.... it has been wonderful.  And though this new home is smaller than the other, it feels cozy and comfortable, and we all fit in here just fine.... I do believe that we all have enjoyed it immensely!!!  :-)

We also came down here to celebrate my grandfather's 93rd birthday!!!  We were able to do that with family and friends, and it was a very special time.  He is growing quite old, and slowing down rather quickly.... there is a good chance that we won't be celebrating his next birthday, so this was very special for us all.  :-)

As part of celebrating Grandpa's 93rd birthday, we also happened to get to welcome the very first day of winter, and the shortest day of the year while we have been here!  :-)

We got all of our Christmas shopping done, ate food at some really yummy restaurants, visited with family from both sides, and celebrated our family Christmases as well.  We got to meet our nieces' boyfriends, were able to get some amazing workouts in at the local 24 Hour Fitness club that is very close to Grammy & Papa's new place.  And today we will be meeting with my very close friend, Scott Taube, and his dad Gene, for a nice lunch at On The Border Mexican restaurant.  I am very much looking forward to it!!!  :-)

This afternoon we will drive to Hood River, OR, where we will enjoy the evening riding on the Polar Express train ride, which is set to be a very fun  time for Evan and Sierra!!!  We are excited to see them both light up with Christmas spirit and joy tonight.  :-)

Tomorrow we depart here and return home once again, so we can get settled back in, and so we can enjoy our own intimate family Christmas at Little Bearfoot Farm!!!

God has been so very good to us this year, and has really blessed us on this trip to Oregon.  We really only had one big negative, downer and uncomfortable moment during this whole week, and so we feel very blessed.  It has been a lot of fun, fast-paced, and very productive.... I have really enjoyed myself this time down here, and that hasn't really happened in quite a while!  :-)

So, off I go to start getting ready for another great day!  May each and every one of you who reads my blog also be blessed with the joy of Christmas, today and throughout the rest of this week.  May you be filled with the love of Jesus, and may you have good health, and happy families.  :-)

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3,000 Miles!!!

It may not sound like a whole lot, but for me it is a new record, and a momentous one at that.  My bike ride yesterday afternoon took me over the 3,000 mile mark for this year!!!  :-)  I am quite pleased, as this is double what my previous mileage record was!!!  And there are still days left this year to ride some more!!!  :-)

This was a very good year for me in many ways.  I have come to a new level of health and fitness in my life that I haven't had in many, many years now.  I weigh under 200 pounds for the first time in nearly 20 years!!!  I now eat well, exercise regularly, and have developed a love and passion for bicycling.  I rode a lot this year, and have enjoyed it so very much.  I am already looking forward to what next year has in store for me as far as cycling goes!!!

January will mark my two year anniversary since I started taking back my life, and began to get healthy.  Since then, I have lost 90 pounds!!!  I feel so much better, and have so much more energy.  I am no longer ashamed of myself, or how I look.  I enjoy fitness and being active.  I love being able to participate with my kids.  For me, getting my physical health restored helped me to have better mental health, Spiritual health and emotional health!  :-)

I am very hopeful that I will log at least as many miles in 2011.  Really, I would love to add even more miles!  :-)

Yes, I am happy.... healthy.... and I am a bicyclist!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Really Good Weekend!!!

This weekend went by quickly, no doubt about that!  However, we had a busy and fun-filled weekend overall, and got quite a few things accomplished.  I feel really good about that.  Friday afternoon and evening we got our tree and decorated it, and enjoyed an evening of pizza and a family movie.  On Saturday morning, Uncle Brad and myself left early to Bellingham, where we joined around 3,000 other people to run the annual Jingle Bell Run for the Arthritis Foundation.  This was a very fun run, 4 miles long, with many people all dressed up in costumes, and nearly everyone wearing jingle bells for the run!

We had a blast!!!  We both ran very well, and had no trouble with the course at all.  In fact, Brad did even better than I was expecting him to do, and we stuck together for the entire run.  Finished the 4 miles right at about 35 minutes, which gives us something to beat next year, when we attempt to do it right at 30 minutes!!!  :-)

After the run, I had to go to work.  Back at home, Tracie took Evan to his basketball game in Nooksack.  Though his team didn't fair too well, and has a lot to work on for improvement, one thing that stood out as very exciting was Evan's only basket of the game.  It came right at the final buzzer!!!  The ball was shot, but bounced off the rim.... Evan collected the rebound, moved out a few feet, turned and launched the ball at the hoop with just a second on the clock.  As the ball went through the hoop, the final buzzer sounded, ending the game.  Needless to say, though they lost the game, Evan was very excited about how things ended!!!  :-)

After Evan's game, Sierra got to go to a Christmas Party up in Sumas for the afternoon.  She had a wonderful time, as only our social little butterfly can!!!  :-)

Yesterday was a very good day.  We headed to church in the morning, which was fantastic!  After church we hit Subway and ate fresh on our way home.  We then proceeded to sit and watch the UFC 124 fight that I had record from the day before, GSP vs Koscheck..... and this made for a very enjoyable afternoon, as we sat back and relaxed in the recliners as we watched battle after battle in the Octagon!!!  To make it better, GSP dominated over Koscheck, and kept the belt!!!  :-)

As soon as we were done with the fights, it was time to head back to town, where we had an early dinner at the Olive Garden...... quite yummy, and very filling, exactly what uncle Brad and I needed to prepare for our hockey game later in the evening. 

After dinner at the O.G., we headed over to CTK for the annual family Christmas program.  We enjoyed an evening of listening to the adult choir and kids choirs sing Christmas tunes, and listened to some great Christmas stories as well.  After the program we all enjoyed cookies and coffee and hot chocolate for a while.

Next, we headed to the ice rink, where uncle Brad and I played an important game for out team, as we needed a win to improve our standings, and as this is the last game before the holiday break, and the half way point through the season!  Mommy, Evan and Sierra all came to watch us and cheer us on.  And it was good!!!  We won our game against the 3rd place team in the division, and we won it hands down, 7-1.  Of those 7 goals for our team, I scored two of them.  :-)

This made for a late night, as we didnt' get home until after 11pm.  So, the next thing I know, it is now already Monday, the last week we are here at home before leaving for Portland on Friday morning.  YIKES!!!  Time to get busy getting ready.

Today, for the first time in quite some time now, the weather looks to be promising for a bike ride, which I really am longing for, and really do need.  I hope to get out today and log those final miles that will put me over the 3,000 mile mark for the year.  :-)

There you have it.... that is our weekend in review!!!

Oh, and as of this morning, we have two sick kids, both of which are staying home from school today, and both of which had to have their dentist appointments for today re-scheduled!!!  :-(  Ay yay yay yay yay yay....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells.....

Today was the annual Bellingham Jingle Bell Run, raising funds and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation.  This is a fantastic and fun event, made up of a 2 mile walking course, and a 4 mile running course.  People dress up in festive costumes, and bring their dogs along on the walking course.  And this year, both myself and my brother, Brad, ran the 4 mile course together.  :-)

We had a great morning, a great run, and great fun!!!  Brad did excellent, and I felt so much better and healthier and stronger and fast this year than last, it was awesome!  I felt this morning as though I could have run a half marathon, and that really pleases me greatly.  :-)

I am already looking forward to next years event, and am hopeful that Tracie and Evan and Sierra will join us for it as well next year!  :-)

On another note, today is a historical day for Grammy & Papa.  Today they officially say good-bye tho their Pumpkin Ridge home, as they move out for good and move into the next chapter of their lives, and their new home on Shady Fir Loop.  I believe there will be mixed emotions for them both today, as there are so many wonderful years and memories that belong to the Pumpkin Ridge home.  On the other hand, there will be a whole new start for them both with their new home, and so very many new memories to be made as they start the next chapter in their lives now.  Congratulations to Grammy & Papa... we look forward to visiting you very soon in your new home!!!  :-)

I just heard from Tracie a bit ago about Evan's basketball game.  Although they got beat pretty badly by the Meridian team, she was very pleased to tell me that Evan got the ball on a rebound with just seconds in the game, dribbled and turned, then launched the ball...and made the basket as the buzzer sounded, scoring one last set of points for his team to end the game!!!  Way to go my boy!!!  :-)

Sierra is off to a Christmas party for the afternoon, and she is quite excited about it.  I am at work today, and already thinking about what is on our agenda for tomorrow....

Looking forward to attending church tomorrow morning with my family.  After church, I am not exactly sure what we have planned for the afternoon.  However, we do have planned to head to Jump Around Fun Zones in Bellingham for the BFD annual Christmas Party at 6pm.  After that, we will head to the ice rink for mine and Brad's hockey game... I promised the kids they could come and watch us play tomorrow night, even though it's going to have them up late.  It should be fun, at least I hope it is!!!  :-)

Busy week ahead for us, as we are preparing to head to Portland next Friday morning, early..... so, I had better start making a list of to-do's and priorities, so we can get everything taken care of that needs to be.......

Chow for now!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Time...

It's finally beginning to look like Christmas at our place... a bit later than usual for us, but it has just been that kind of a year for us.  However, these past few days have been productive ones, and we now have outside lights on the house, and Tracie worked very hard top get the inside of our house all decorated for the season!  the place looks great!  :-)

All that is missing now is a Christmas tree.  We usually go on a Saturday to get one, make a big day of it.  This year, though, the first Saturday of the month slipped right on by us before we knew it.  This coming Saturday, I am at work, and am also running in the annual Jingle Bell Run for the Arthritis Foundation that morning!  And then next Saturday we will be in Portland!!!  And of course, the following Saturday after that is Christmas Day!!!  Oy Vay, what to do.....

We are going to go and get our tree this Friday, immediately after the kids get down with school.  We have a plan to go somewhere new this year for our tree, do something completely different.  Should be a fun adventure, and hopefully all will go well for us.  We are planning to put up our tree on Friday, and spend the evening getting it lit up and decorated.  Then we will sit back and enjoy a family movie night, along with our traditional weekly pizza night.  :-)

I am still wanting to put up more lights outside on the house, but have no way of reaching the height that I need to go.  I am seriously thinking of checking into renting a cherry picker for the day that I can use to get up and place lights on the remainder of the house.  It would look so very good if I can get it done.  Just now sure of how much money we are looking at to do this.  And of course, I would have to rent it again another day in January or February to take them all down again.  Hmmmmmmm......

So, it is already well into December.   Tracie and I have not done any Christmas shopping together yet.  We have no real idea of what our kids want for Christmas (with exception that Sierra pretty much wants everything!!!).  We don't know what to get each other, nor do we know what to get other family members or friends and loved ones!!!  It is driving us mad!!! 

On the bright side, we have been blessed enough to be able to pay it forward this year by giving to our CTK food bank the past two weeks.  We took a bunch of our farm raised pork and beef to donate, and it felt really good to do so.  We are also going to be putting money towards this years CTK Blessing when we go to church this weekend, and we are quite excited about that as well.  And finally, we are seriously looking at sponsoring another child, perhaps a girl in Africa.  We are praying about this right now.

So, things are going well for us.  NO, far from perfect.  In fact, we struggle every day with lots of little things.  But we realize that we are truly blessed, and we have two beautiful and wonderful children that God has given to us to call our own.  Life is very good, even with the daily struggles of life that we face, and the craziness of our schedules.  Life is very good!!!  :-)

May each and every one of you who visit my blog be blessed this Christmas.  May your hearts be overflowing with the joy and love of Jesus, and the reason why we celebrate Christmas!  Merry Christmas to you all, and a very Happy New Year as well.  :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Welcome to December!!!

Amazing..... it is December 3rd today, and the first weekend of December is here already!!!  What can I say?  I am not prepared, and not yet ready for the holidays to be here.  Nothing is ready, the list is long, the time is short, and I have been off of my bike now for way too long... still just 10 miles shy of reaching my 3,000 mile goal for the year.

We have lights to put up outside, a house that needs decorating inside, a Christmas tree to pick out and put up, and a myriad of other things on our list that need to get done this month as well.

Tomorrow is Evan's very first basketball game, 10am in Blaine.  It should be fun, as Evan hasn't had much basketball experience before!  After the game, I hope that Evan and I can have a few hours together outside putting up Christmas lights... and then we will all head to Lynden for the annual lighted parade at 6pm  :-)

I work again on Sunday, so tomorrow is mine and Evan's only time to really work together on lights, which is something I promised him way back when... and he is looking forward to it.  So, hopefully we can make some good progress tomorrow afternoon.

In just two weeks from today we will be heading to Portland to visit with family.... to see Grammy and Papa's new home, to celebrate my grandfather's 93rd birthday, and to celebrate Christmas with everyone both of our families, since no one will be coming up north this year to join us.  In addition, we will be hauling a whole mess of beef and pork with us to deliver to several customers in Oregon.

I pulled my groin this past Wednesday night wile playing ice hockey.... I am quite sore, and it is going to be a slow recovery I suspect.  I am hopeful that I will still be able to run and ride my bike, at least keep going with my fitness routine.  I have been out of sorts with my workouts for the past couple of months, and am really needing to get back at it hard once again.  I have about 10 more pounds that I would really like to shed before getting my body composition doen again in January of 2011.  :-)

So, time for me to sit and make a list, get organized, and get busy!!!  Wish me luck  :-)

I hope that you all are way less stressed than I am at this time, and that yo uall have significantly way less to get done than I do right now!!!  :-)

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter come early!

Unbelievable!!!  Everything was going so well..... a beautiful Fall season was gong along just fine, with lots of opportunity to get out on the bike, be outdoors doing things, enjoying the splendors that God has given us... and THEN......

A sudden Arctic Blast comes upon us all at once, seemingly out of nowhere, and rocks our world into frigid coldness!!!  It all started on Friday, and hasn't let up yet at all.  In fact, it has gotten worse... though no snow since Friday, the temps have dropped, and the winds have continued, making it absolutely bitter cold here.... difficult to even keep the house warm right now!!! 

Outside this morning it is currently 23 degrees, but with the winds blowing as they are, the wind chill has the actual temperature down to -1 degree as of right now!!!  We haven't even had Thanksgiving yet!!!  This is NOT how it is supposed to be!!! 

I have been planning for some time to work with Evan this week to put up our Christmas lights... but there is NO WAY we are going to be out there doing it in this weather!!!  It is bad enough that I have to suffer in it an hour each morning and again each evening, just to take care of chickens and goats and cattle!!!

So, everything here has been thrown off, and we are out of sorts right now.  So much to do this week to prepare for the arrival of family for Thanksgiving, and all we can do is try to stay warm!!!

Don't get me wrong... I love snow, and lots of it!  However, I love it in the Winter time.... NOT the Fall.  I am supposed to be out riding my bike and logging more miles this tie of year.   For crying out loud, I don't even have my supply of wood pellet fuel purchased yet!!!

Have I mentioned lately just how much I wish we didn't live here anymore!!!  :-(

Monday, November 15, 2010

I will return shortly, thank you for you patience!!!

Indeed, life has been fast-paced, busy and crazy for us lately.  Just returned from a whirlwind tour in Portland, helping Grammy & Papa to prepare for their upcoming move to their new home, and new chapter of their lives. 

Home yesterday afternoon, lots of unloading and unpacking, as well as re-loading and packing of Brad's stuff into a big steel box.  Then a little bit of rest, and off and running like crazy again all day today.....

We are dealing with beef and pork this week, and had to purchase new freezers today to store it all in!!! 

I have next year's vacation picks coming up this Wednesday, and must get a calendar all worked out, so we can come up with my list of wants for V-days.

Evan starts basketball practice this Thursday and Friday.

Tracie is starting full time boot camp workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at Homestead Fitness Center.

Sierra is back at dance class on Monday afternoons.

I start playing ice hockey again this Wednesday night.

Evan's football end-of-year banquet is Wednesday evening.

We have a bunch of stuff to still organize and put away, laundry to be done, grocery shopping to get to, and general clean-up to work on as well.

It is also Christmas light season, and we need to start working on that as well.

So, please be patient with me for just a while, as I will get back to regular posting really soon  :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Portland, Oregon Bound...

On Thursday morning at 6am, we will be heading to Portland, OR.  Grammy & Papa have sold their home, and are downsizing into their "Golden" years.  We are heading down to get all of Brad's belongings that have been stored there in their shop since he moved out this way from IL.  As well, we will be bringing some of Grammy & Papa's stuff back here, that they will no longer need and that will work for us.  It will be a very busy weekend, but it will be good to see the old Pumpkin Ridge place one last time, to say our good-byes, and also to go and see their new home, where we hope to be visiting them a bunch in the future.

This all said, it makes for a short and very busy week for us.  Tracie is busy working as a sub at the kids' school, and I have been trying to get the Suburban all mechanically sound and ready for the trip.  We still have to get packed and loaded tomorrow, and also deal with Lynden Meat and customers for our beef and our pork.

All of this, and I have been dealing with a very painful infected toe on my right foot, which has kept me from doing a lot, and unable to put shoes on my feet until just today finally.  I do believe today is a breakthrough day as far as healing goes with the toe, and am hopeful that it will be feeling a lot better come tomorrow.

For now, time to go and work on dinner, then sit back with the family for a while, and then finish off the night with "The Biggest Loser", my favorite 'reality' TV show!!!  :-)

Lots to do, time is running short, but God is in control.... time for me to hand the reigns over and relax a bit more!  :-)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Fall"ing Back...

Good Morning!  For some of you it is currently 6:40am.  For the rest of us, who have remembered to "Fall" back for the end of Daylight Savings Time, it is now 5:40am instead.  :-)

There is no doubt about it these days, Fall is most definitely upon us.  We have been enjoying some amazingly wonderful Fall days of weather, along with shorter days, with dark mornings and dark afternoons.  I have been able to enjoy some fantastic Fall weather bicycle riding this year, and am still hopeful that I may finish off this year with 3,500 miles logged on my bike!

So, Evan's first season of tackle football has ended.  He did really well, but has a lot to learn still as far as building his confidence in himself and his abilities.  It will be fun to watch him make the connection with just how really good he is, and how fast he can be.... and hopefully next year his whole team will just get better and better.  With football over, we expected to take the winter off from sports and just relax a bit, but not so be the case... Evan has decided to give basketball another try!  SO, we are right back into the busy sports schedule once again.

Sierra is busy with her dance class, which is a much easier schedule for us to follow, thankfully.  She has not yet really shown any interest in playing sports at this time, and prefers to concentrate on her dancing.   She also would like to give gymnastics a try, but we haven't been able to find anything close to us, or reasonably priced as of yet.

This next Thursday we are heading to Portland to help Grammy & Papa with their packing and preparing to move to their new home next month.  We will be busy loading all of Brad's belongings to bring them up here and place them in a steel container box for storage on our property for now.  In addition, Grammy & Papa have many things that they would like for us to have, as they will be downsizing quite substantially with this move.  So, we will be going through things and loading our enclosed trailer to bring those things home with us as well.  For sure, this is a bittersweet time for us all.  We all love the home that Grammy & Papa have lived in now for the past 13+ years.  In fact, it is the only home that Evan and Sierra have ever known for them.  On the other hand, it will be so good for them both to have a smaller home, with less work and upkeep, and a place much closer to family and friends.  In addition, they will be in community environment, where they will hopefully meet many new friends, and begin to grow their social lives more.  I think we are all hoping and praying that this will be a very good transition in both of their lives!  :-)

On a personal note, I am frustrated with my physical health right now.  I have not been able to get my fitness kicked into high gear for some time now, due to all kinds of things.  Recently, though, I have suffered from a couple of different injuries, which have set me back.  I really want to get back to working out hard again, and to get rid of another 10 pounds of unwanted fat from my body.  I am coming up on the two year mark since I started my "new" life of health and fitness, in January, and I really want to be weighing in at around 190 pounds, with around 12% body fat.  With the way things have gone for me this past month, that goal is getting hard to reach.  Right now I am suffering from an infected toe on my right foot that is hurting me very badly.  I need to get it taken care of, so I can get back into my groove once again.  I am starting to get down on myself about how things are going... it affects my mental and spiritual health, and I don't want that to happen anymore.

I know everyone ( my family and close friends) all get tired of hearing me talk about bicycling all of the time.  I have heard a fair amount about it lately, and realize that not everyone wants to hear about it so much.  Trouble is, bicycling has become a passion for me.  I love it, and love how it makes me feel, and what it does for me physically and mentally and spiritually.  Cycling has helped me get my life back.  So, I need to just remember that although I am passionate about cycling, most everyone else close to me are not.  I need to find a group of people, or even just a few, who share the love of cycling that I have, who I can talk to about it all of the time... something to work on for me.  In the mean time, I just need to work on talking more about others' interests, and less of mine.

Well, it's time for more coffee, and something to eat.  Today we will go to church, and then I will spend the day trying to allow my infected toe to get better, since I am supposed to be working again tomorrow.

The mantra I am trying to remember each day to live by is this......

"Life isn't a problem to be solved, it's an adventure to be lived"   :-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

The last day of October... it is Halloween today!  We don't really put much effort or thought into this candy-crazed holiday in our household.  Never completely understood the holiday, or its origins and significance.  I love that is is fun for the kids to dress up and have fun, but other than that, we don't get too excited about it here.  No special decorations, parties, costumes, etc...... the kids decided what they want to be, and we typically head to an organized event put on by a local church, or we go to a neighborhood in Lynden and allow the kids to trick-or-treat around the block.

Honestly, at this time, I am not even sure what our Halloween plans are for today, other than to go to church, shop at Costco, and come home mid-afternoon.  The kids had both mentioned attending Noah Night, put on by Christ Fellowship Church in Nooksack.  This is a fun, warm, dry and safe event, where the kids have fun playing games, getting candy and other prizes, and get to spend time seeing their friends and classmates.  More than likely, this is where we will spend our Halloween evening this year.

With that, November is here!!!  I find it hard to believe how fast September and October slipped on by.  I have completed virtually nothing on my list of Fall projects!  Perhaps the weather will cooperate in November, and I can be a bit more productive at getting things bundled up for Winter.

I injured my right calf muscle recently, and then didn't let it fully heal before going out and running on it yesterday.  Bad deal, as it "popped" twice in the first half mile, and I am now in a lot of pain, and limping around with a more injured calf muscle... not good.  The only good thing about this is... I have learned that running is not for me.... bicycling is my sport of choice!!!

I really would love to get back into playing ice hockey once again.  It would be so good for my fitness routine, and I have missed it these past 5 years.  However, the cost is substantial, as is the added time away from family.  So, I may just have to sit back and enjoy watching Brad get back into the sport for  a while.

I was hoping to work on yard work today again, but it appears that the weather is not going to cooperate today, so I will just have to wait and see what shapes up.

Talk to you in November!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

October is already over?!?!?!?!?!?

Yep, today is Monday the 25th of October, 2010..... the start of the LAST week of October already!!!  What is this world coming to when a month doesn't even last a full month anymore!!!  LOL  ;-)

I really thought I would have so much more done around the farm by the end of this month, and instead, I have hardly even started on anything!!!  Sometimes I get worked up by this and let it get me down, and then other times I take the time to realize that what is important in my life is my God, my wife, and my kids.  After that comes me and an my health... physical, mental, spiritual and emotional.  The rest is all just stuff to fill on on life's journey.  Sure, our place doesn't look very good, and certainly after five years of living here we should be a lot further ahead than we are today... but, apparently we are in a season of life right now where these other things are lower on the priority list.  As a neighbor in our old housing development told me when Evan was a little tyke and I started ignoring my yard work some, "right now you are raising a family, not a yard.  There will be a time in the future for you to raise a yard again."  Not an exact quote, but paraphrased as I remember him saying it.  :-)

I do admit, however, that we are in way over our heads with our current home and living situation.  I really thought five years ago that things would work out a whole lot better and differently than they have for us since we have lived here.  Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case.  It bums me out to say that I am now at a place where I would much rather majorly downsize, and live somewhere that would be so very much easier to take care of, and care for.  A place that is far less expensive to live in and maintain and upkeep.  A place where I don't always feel guilty for taking time for my health by riding my bike, or heading to the fitness club, etc.  A place where I wouldn't feel guilty for taking a day off to sit and watch television all day with my family on a weekend.

What has me going on about all of this right now?  I suppose it has to do with Grammy & Papa, and where they are at in their lives right now.  They have sold their nice big home on Pumpkin Ridge, where they have lived for the past 13 years.  They are substantially downsizing their living situation and their lives, moving into a manufactured home in a senior living community.  In doing so, they are going through all they have accumulated over the years, deciding what to keep, what to sell, what to give away.... what is really important to them, what is not.  It is a major change in their lives, and one that I believe will be very good for them both.  In a way, I guess I am just a bit envious... which I know is NOT what God wants or expects from me.  Something I really need to work on.  :-)

So, as I sit here now typing away, looking outside at the wind and the rain, I am counting up all of the unfinished and unstarted projects that really need to be dealt with before winter arrives!  I don't like reaching double digits on this list, and yet I have just that fast already  :-(

OK, enough whining and sniveling for now.... time to move on.  Lots to do, lots to think about, lots to prepare for.  And the simple fact remains, I have it way better than so many other people in the world.  I am completely and truly blessed beyond anything I deserve.  I have an awesome job, a wonderful wife, two amazing kids, a home, and my health.  And most important of all, I have a God who loves me and provides for me, each and every day!!!  :-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too Much.....

Yes, too much going on in our lives right now!  At least, that is my opinion, and how I feel anyway.  It seems that the list of things to do, and places to be just keeps growing, yet the check-offs are far and few between... Jeesh!!!

Two more weeks of football for Evan, Sierra has started dance classes once again, we have beef at the butcher currently, and have upcoming beef and pig slaughters the first and second weeks of November, we have at least one trip to make to Portland in November due to my parents selling their home and moving, multiple projects needing done around the farm before winter sets in, and of course... I still need/want to log many more miles on the bike yet this year!!!

Lately it seems that every day just slips right on by, and before I know it, another week is gone.... I swear that October just  started a few days ago, and already it is nearly over!!!

For quite some time I have been letting this all get to me, cause me worry and stress, and even cause me to be a bit unhappy in life.  But alas, through much prayer, some incredible messages at church, and in reading my current read, "Wild at Heart", by John Eldridge.... I am doing much better!  I realize that there is a time and season for everything, and that some things are just much more important than others.....

My God, my wife, my children, my health (physical, mental and spiritual), and my family and close friends.... these are the things that I must make my priorities each and every day.  Everything else can be fit in when there is time, and with God's help.  :-)

John Eldridge helped remind me of something so very important yesterday, and I am choosing to remind myself of it each and every day through the remainder of this month.... "Life isn't a problem to be solved, it's an adventure to be lived"

So, I choose today to live life, love life, and to stay focused on those priorities in my life that come first.  :-)

Off to work again today, and although I love my job, I am already anxious about coming back home tomorrow to be with them again!

I hope that each and every person who visits my blog and reads what I have wrote today will take a moment to stop and give some thought to the priorities in your life, remembering that "life isn't a problem to be solved, it's an adventure to be lived!"

Blessings to each and every one of you!!!  :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

19 years of Marriage and plugging right along...

Yesterday, October 19th, 2010, Tracie and I shared our 19th wedding anniversary together.  Pretty awesome, and something we are both quite happy about and proud of.  Of course it hasn't been 19 years of pure marital bliss... we have had plenty of ups and downs, speed bumps and potholes... but we have made it through them all, and we both are still in love with one another!

An added piece to our story, that many of you may know already, but some may not, is that we have been together for 29 years now!!!  Yes, it is true, we met as Junior High School sweethearts.  We have essentially grown up together.  :-)

So, yesterday we had our kids go home from school to the Roosma's place to stay overnight.  We then had the opportunity to head out and have a nice dinner at Anthony's Hearthfire Grill.  Afterwards, we went to a movie, just the two of us.  And last night, no kids to get to bed, just us.  This morning, no kids to get off to school, just us.  :-)

It was a nice day... Tracie worked at the school until 2pm, so Dan Snow and I got a nice bike ride in... I ended up with just shy of 39 miles.

Happy Anniversary Tracie.... I still love you!!!  :-)

PS- on a separate note, update on the big chili cook-off.... Dan Snow took home first place this year, while I wound up with the boobie prize!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Chili Time!!!

This Saturday, October 16th, marks the 3rd annual Little Bearfoot Farm Chili Cook-off, along with pumpkin carving/decorating for the kids!!!  This thing has taken off, and everyone is out to prove that they have what it takes to make an award winning chili.  In fact, there are some who have been planning and preparing for this event now for months!!!

In our first year, we set out to have a reason to bring  friends and family together to have some fun, and to allow the kids the opportunity to carve pumpkins and make a big mess out in the shop.  We didn't really think a whole lot about a nice first place trophy, or put much into a boobie prize either.  However, after such a great time, and so many varieties of chili coming forth, we decided that we were going to need to make this an annual event!

For the record, in the very first year, Tim Robarts took overall first place winner, while Tiffani Stauffer hands down won the boobie prize.

So, before the big day arrived last year, Tracie put forth the thought and the effort to come up with a nice wooden wall hanging plaque for the first place winner to be able to have and hang on their wall for the next year.  Each year we can have the first place winners name added to the plaque.

Last year, Brad Neitling won first place, and so the plaque has been hanging in our house, since Brad is living with us currently. 

The question now is, who will be the winner for this year?  Who has what it takes to get the votes?  Who really wants it?  And who is in for the boobie prize?

So, with that, today is chili making day for me.  I go to work tomorrow, and have a very busy day on Saturday, so I need to get my chili perfected and finished today.  This may very well be the secret to winning this year.... allowing the chili to sit and gain flavor for two days before the competition!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Harvest Century 2010


Yesterday, five of us headed out to ride in the Harvest Century ride, in Hillsboro OR.  The weather was not good at all, and rained on us nearly the whole day long.  However, we prevailed, and we all completed our rides!!!

Evan and Papa and Uncle Brad all rode the 45 mile loop.  Scott Taube and myself rode the 100 mile loop.  Despite the weather, we all had a good day of riding, and lots of fun as well.  :-)

We didn't end up back to Grammy & Papa's place until nearly 6pm, and now today we are all laying low and resting and relaxing, just taking it easy.

Tomorrow we will head back home, and on Tuesday, I will be quite busy with bicycle cleaning and maintenance, as our bikes are a nasty mess from the elements.

OK< time for me to go find a recliner and kick back again....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Heading South!!!

Yes, indeed...tomorrow morning we will leave bright and early to drive to Portland, OR for the weekend.  Heading south to ride in the Harvest Century...the last organized ride of the season.  On Saturday, Oct. 9th, Evan and his Papa and his Uncle Brad will all three head out to ride the 45 mile course.  Myself and my good friend, Scott Taube, will ride the 100 mile (century) ride on the same day.  The weather isn't expected to cooperate with us, brining rain showers throughout the day, but alas, we will ride and have fun anyway.  :-)

It will be a short weekend, trying to find the time to see both sides of our families, as well as with trying to do what we want to do.... relax!!!  We will take Sunday as a rest/recovery day after our big ride on Saturday.  And then on Monday morning, we will head back home again.

Thanks to our good friend, Greg Bass, who will be staying at our farm, taking care of all of the animals while we are away.  We sure are lucky to have someone like Greg!  :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Game for Evan!!!

Evan's football team played against Meridian on Saturday morning, at Squalicum High School in Bellingham. After watching our Nooksack High School team get beaten badly by Meridian the night before, on our home turf, it was unsure just how Evan's team would fare.

Great news... they did awesome! Won the game with a score of 19-7. Actually had 5 touchdowns total, but two were called back due to holding penalties. But alas, out of the 3 TD's scored for our team, Evan made two of them!!! And they were both beauties. The kid has some fast legs on him, and when he decides to turn it on, look out.... hard to catch him.

The whole team played really great this weekend, and has vastly improved over the past couple of weeks. Very exciting to see a bunch of first year tackle football players come together and learn so much, so fast!!! :-)

Evan played great, both on offense and on defense. He plays a lot of the game, and must really get worn out. However, he doesn't stop!!! He nearly made a great pass reception at the end of the game, that would have led to yet another touchdown. Just missed it!!!

It was an exciting game, and fun to watch. All of the kids did great, and had a lot of fun beating the Meridian team. :-)

Way to go Nooksack!!! Way to Go Evan!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October is here!!! 10/1/10

Today is the first of October. It is absolutely beautiful out today. A fantastic Fall weather day. I just returned home from work, got the animals all taken care of, and am getting ready to head out on the bike for a ride. When I return, I will have a bite to eat, and then work outside until the family comes home. This evening, Evan and Sierra and myself will go to the Nooksack football game. :-)

I love Fall!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Sierra!!!

Today our Little girl is 7 years old. Just another reminder of how fast time goes by as we get older. It was just a week ago or so, I swear, when our phone rang to let us know that our precious little girl had arrived, and was waiting for us to come and pick her up!!! We were heading out to hunting camp in central/eastern Oregon the next day, and altered our plans so we could meet our baby girl and bring her into our family!!! It was awesome. And little Sierra was quite the trooper, as we had her spend her first week of life out in deer hunting camp, deep in the woods of central/eastern Oregon!!!!

Now, here we are, 7 years later, and we still love this little girl so very much. It has been so much fun to watch her grown and change and develop her own personality.

Thanks for being our precious little girl, Sierra. We love you so much!!!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall is here!!!

Fall happens to be my very favorite time of year. And for some unkonwn reason, this year it just snuck right up on me, and I amin disbelief that summer is over, and that fall is arriving this month. Life has been quite crazy, and I am eminded of how fast it goes right on by. So, I am making it a point to start slowing down just a bit, and to start paying more attention to each and every day that is set forth beofre me by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for the wonderful blessings He constantly bestows upon me, and it is high time that I start taking the time to appreciate each and every day just a bit more.

I am shocked that I actually have allowed so much time to slip on by without keeping current on m blog, or posting updates and photos of all we have been doing. Though I could use the excuse that our primary home computer is Kaput, I won't do that. Fact is, it is my fault. With my favorite time of year here finally, and wih weather that will allow for more days indoors, I intend to get all caught back up and on track once again... although it won't actually happen until October.

Football season is here!!! Evan is now playing in his very first season of tackle football. The first game didn'tgo so well, but since our team is made up of all first year players, and we played a very big and solid and well versed team from Ferndale, we may have lost the game, but we certainly learne a lot about tackle football. I am confident that next weekends game will go much better for us! As for hight school football, we attended last Friday's home opener at NVHS, and what a great blowout game we saw... 63-0. A lot of fun, and looking forward to this evenings game at home agains Lynden Christian!!!

Family iscoming from out of town this next week and weekend to celebrate our beautiful little girl's, Sierra, birthday. 7 years old already!!! Again, the tim sure goes by faster with each year! So, we will have both sets of granparents staying here, which means we need to get bsy this weekend and next week getting thins a bit cleaned up and organized around here for their arrival. :-)

Uncle Brad is leaving to go to work in Newfandland for a coule of weeks, leavingus on Monday morning. It should be an exciting opportunity for him.

Uncle Brad and myself are both riding in the Chuckanut Century bicycle Ride Event this Sunday. We won't be riding together, unfortunately, as Brad will be riding the 50 mile course that heads north, and I willbe riding the 66 mile course that heads south. This will be a big challenge for Brad, as he has only recentl started bicycling!!!

Fencing has started here at Little Bearfoot Farm. I have a lot to do to get t all done, but progress is being made steadily every week. Things are looking good!!!

OK, so that's a quick update.... and I will get back with more updating and pictures real soon.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Can it really be?????

Can it really be possible that we are already half way through the month of August?!?!?!?!? I am shocked and bewildered at how fast our summer has gone by this year. It seems only a few days ago I was posting to say that I would get back soon with photos and more updates..... OOOOOOOPS!!! My bad, 'cause that didn't work out very well on my end.

So, here we are half way through August now, nearly the end of our official summer time already, and the start of school right around the corner!!! My favorite boy in the whole entire world will be turning 9 years old in just one week from today!!! Yet another crazy fact that has me both baffled and amazed! :-)

Well, I still have a whole lot to catch everyone up on here, but now isn't the time for me to do it, as I am at work today, and so don't have the time, nor the access to our photos to upload either. I won't make any promises just yet.... but if I can make myself stay up late a night or two this week, I just may do some more updating to get things current once again.

In the mean time, it's too nice to be inside at a computer reading peoples blogs go on and get outside and enjoy the summer... while it is still here!!!!!! :-)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crazy, Busy Summer...

Well, it's been a fast week and a half since STP weekend blew right on by. We have been going like crazy since our return from Portland, and we are now getting ready to turn around and head right back down again this weekend! Tour de Cure weekend has arrived!!! :-)

Evan has formed our team, Evan's Peloton, and we will be riding together in the 43 mile course, raising money to help fight and find a cure for Diabetes, a disease that is becoming more and more rampant in America. Evan, myself, Tracie, Papa, and our good friend Gene Taube, will all ride together this Saturday morning. As of this time, we have reaised $1500 towards our goal of $2500. It appears we won't meet our goal this year, but we certainly have done well just the same!!!

With sickness hitting our household since the return from STP, it has been difficult to get much done. Tracie came down with strep throat, and was down and out for nearly 4 straight days. Then I came down with a sinus and throat cold sort of thing, and have been fairly miserable since Sunday. Hopefully we can all be better by Friday, ready to go to Portland and have a good weekend. :-)

Today Faith is heading to the vet to deliver her lates litter of puppies, vis c-section. We should have her and her new pups home this afternoon, and they will be going to Portland with us this weekend.

Well, I have an awful lot to do to get ready.... shower, shave my head, get the bicycles and stuff ready, get the trailer ready, do yard work, and get all packed up as well.... since I go back to work again tomorrow morning for one more shift.

I will post puppy pictures this evening, and then Tour de Cure weekend pics when we return next week.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

STP 2010... AWESOME!!!

What a fantastic weekend we had for Seattle to Portland, 2010. Myself, and my two really great friends, Scott Taube and Stu Hodnot, all rode the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic together. Each of us rode as members of the Medical Support Team, on behalf of the Cascade Bicycle Club. This was also Scott's very first ever STP ride, and it made it that much more fun for both Stu and I.

We had an incredible weekend of riding together, logging a total of just over 206 miles over the two days! It was an awesome journey, and we all three had a fantastic time together. We helped around a half a dozen or so people on Saturday, which ended up putting us in to Winlock a full 3 hours behind schedule.... but all for good reason! When we arrived, ice cold beer and hot spaghettin were waiting, so we were very happy indeed!

On Sunday, we enjoyed a nice hot breakfast and fresh coffee before hitting the road again. It must have worked, because we increased our speed average for the day, and made good time into Portland. We helped ust a few people out on day two, and spent most of the day just cruising along at a very nice clip! It was a lot of fun. Scott did absolutely wonderful, and rode very strong for his first time out. He certainly did NOT hold us back at all. :-)

We arrived in Portland around 3:15pm, with family and friends waiting our arrival. We celebrated with pictures, story telling, and a few cold beers in the beer garden. After refreshments, and some shopping from the vendors, we headed on out to my folks' place, with exception to Stu and his family, who were not able to join us this year. At my folks' place, we indulged in a most delicious farm fresh pork steak bbq, along with baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and more. Dessert came in the form of fresh raspberries over vanilla ice cream. We enjoyed the evening, shared our stories, and talked about next year..... already planning!!! :-)

What an awesome ride, fantastic weekend, with great friends!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WOW...What a week!!!

Yes, my last post was back on July 4th, Independance Day!!! Since then, I have logged 117 miles on the bike, attended 7 of 8 baseball games Evan has played, put up over 1100 bales of hay in the barn, gone to work at the BFD, got our online banking and bill paying done, and worked on getting ready for this upcoming weekend.......

The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic!!! :-)

I admit that I have not stayed updated here during this time. It has been a schedule of up early, go all day, get to bed, and repeat... for the past week. I am at work today once again at the BFD, and have a few minutes to quickly give an update.

When we return from STP weekend, I will finally sit down and post with more details, as well as photos from all of the happenings that have been happening around LBF during the month of July! :-)

Until then.... please stay tuned! ;-)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July (Independance Day)

As unimaginable as it may be, today is the 4th of July!!! Absolutely crazy, and nearly impossible for me to grasp. Especially as I look at the pictures from last year on this very day!!! You can see from this picture that the weather was very much different last year at this time. The kids were outside playing and having a grand time in the water.... and it felt like summer!!!

This year I am still waiting for June to arrive, and yet the calendar says today is July 4th...... doesn't make any sense at all. I actually just fired up the pellet stove to heat up the living room, so we can all sit around and watch television and do nothing, while it remains cloudy and cold, with the wind picking up more and more as the afternoon moves on. n fact, it is starting to look like a chance of rain may visit today as well.

Well, I guess we will just have to wait until tomorrow, see if summer might decide to show up on July 5th this year?!?!?!?!?!?!

Be safe you all, and enjoy the holiday :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010


Hello there.... jus wanted anyone and everyone who follows my blog to know that I haen't gone missing, or forgotten to keep up with my blog! Just want to remind you all that I am away on vacation with my family, down in southern California, enjoying Disneyland and California Adventure this week. :-)

We will fly back to Portland onSunday night, and then rive home on Monday, to get home in time for Evan to make it to his baseball game at 6pm. I then work on Tuesday.... so hopefully on Wednesday I can get back here to update and blog all about our vacation!!!

Take care for now.......

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Petal Pedal, 2010

OK, just let me start out by saying... WOW!!! What an awesome day this was!!! This day was all about bicycle riding and re-connecting with an incredibly great friend from my past.... and I am here to tell you all, the day did NOT disappoint! :-)

First, about my friend, Scott Taube. Scott and I first met back in 1990, when we both entered into the Chemeketa Community College Fire Science program. We hit it off really well back then and became great friends. We had many things in common, including both being two of the older students in the program (we were all of 22 and 24 years old!), and both having come from several years of college previously. Scott and I spent a lot of our time together during our first year at Chemeketa. We studied together, drank coffee together, worked out together, and played a LOT of racquetball together!

Bittersweet for me as it was, at the end of our first year in the program, I was lucky enough to get hired with the Bellingham Fire Department. Scott stayed behind to continue as a second year student, wile I left school behind and moved nearly 300 miles north to become a professional firefighter. Sad and true, our lives became separated by the distance for the next 18 years. We kept in touch through Christmas cards and letters, and occasionally through my mother-in-law, Kathy, who would see Scott on occasion at Starbucks. Other than that, we both had our lives, our careers, and time just raced on by.

However, last year, for some reason or another, it was meant to be that Scott and I would finally re-connect in person, and that we would start to catch up with one another, and start to grow our friendship and firefighter brotherhood connection once again after all of those years gone by. Scott is an awesome guy! A fantastic friend! I am proud to call him one of my very close and personal friends, and I feel blessed to be starting a new chapter in our lives together. :-)

With that all said, here's how we wound up riding the 2010 Petal Pedal century ride together.....

I talked with Scott about my love for cycling, and how it has helped me get a new lease on life through fitness and weight loss. I talked with him about the rides I have done, and how much fun I had riding Seattle to Portland last year with another close personal friend, Stu Hodnot, another firefighter and friendship from my OSU days that finally came back together the year before. Through mush discussion, I managed to convince Scott that he could, and should, ride the Seattle to Portland ride with us this year! He bought it, and signed up.

I talked with Scott about the need for training rides, and told him I had found a great ride for us to do together. This ride would be a great test for Scott, and let him know just where he is at one month prior to STP. This would also be Scotts very first ever century ride!!!! :-) So, we signed up and made all the plans for the Petal Pedal ride, in Silverton, OR.

So, yesterday was our big day!!! And my, oh my, what an awesome day it was for us both!!! Scott completed his very first every century (100 miles) ride..... and he did it very well :-)

Scott and I met up at around 6:30am in Beaverton, where I loaded up into his truck, and off we went down the road towards Silverton..... or so we thought! A few miles down the road we got into a "rolling slow down" where we moved along with traffic at about 5mph for the next 40 minutes..... talk about frustrating, and putting us behind schedule!!!! We never did find out what the slow down was all about, but just as quickly as it happened, it also ended.... and back up to speed we were again, finally getting to I5 southbound. The trip went smoothly after that, but the weather didn't look too promising, and both of us were just a little more than concerned that it was going to be a long day of riding in the rain.

We arrived at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, OR. What an absolutely beautiful place!!! We got parked and headed up to the check-in station. We were quite a bit behind schedule at this point, especially since the 100 mile route was opened at 6:30am, and it was suggested riders leave no later than 8am for the 100 mile ride.... OOOPS!!! It is already 8am now!!! Of course, we weren't all that worried, since there were so many other cyclists there also getting checked in, and people still pulling in as we went back to gear up for our day..... of course, they were all heading out for the 68 mile loop, NOT the 100 mile loop!!!

Oh well, we weren't going to be discouraged... we made the decision to do 100 miles, and we were sticking to it. So, at 8:30am, we hit the road and allowed our adventure to begin!!! :-) The weather was absolutely wonderful. Cloudy, but no rain, no wind, and temperature in the upper 50's to start out. We never got rained on the entire day, and it actually got nicer as the day went on, with sun breaks and warmer temps.... perfect for a century ride!!!

The first 40 miles of this ride are absolutely, incredibly beautiful.... and all uphill...... YES, hill climbing for the majority of the first 40 miles of our day!!! Elevation gains of over 4000 feet!!! This was a true test for Scott, and he did absolutely fantastic!

We had an incredible day of riding together..... we had awesome time riding side by side, talking about life, about family, about firefighting, about fitness, about cycling, and about the absolute beauty that this ride was allowing us to enjoy. I believe I can speak for the both of us when I say that we had an awesome day of riding together!!! :-)

At around mile 70 or so, Scott began to fatigue a bit, and his legs started having discussions with him. But Scott is an absolute stud, and he pushed through it all, kept on plugging along, and managed to finish his very first ever century ride, and finished it strong!!!

100.37 miles in 6 hours 29 minutes, with an overall average speed for the day of 15.45mph!!!

I was so happy for Scott, and also quite proud of him. You see, Scott has only been cycling for a short time now. He hasn't logged nearly as much time or miles on the bike as he would have liked prior to this day. In addition, Scott doesn't yet own a road bike. He rode this ride on a hybrid style mountain bike, geared up for the road as much as possible, but still painfully heavy and with gearing that makes the ride much more difficult. Scott, however, made it work, and he made it work well :-)

We got back to the Oregon Gardens and the finish line at 4:30pm. This means we killed an hour and a half throughout the day at the rest stops. Not too bad, since we stopped at 5 rest stops throughout the entire day. Once at the finish line, we smiled, we hugged, we took pictures and uploaded them to Facebook... and then we headed inside for the celebration!!! BBQ salmon and chicken dinner, with pasta salad, green salad, fresh bread, treats.... Oh, and BEER!!! Yes, free beer from the local brewery, Hopsworks!!! It all was delicious. We sat and ate and drank, and talked all about our day. It was good!!! :-)

I do believe that it was finally around 6pm when we were all changed out of our riding gear, everything loaded into the truck, and back on the road again, this time heading back home. Scott was nice enough to drive me all the way up to Grammy & Papa's place, where he was able to meet the family and shoot the breeze for a few before heading home himself to a nice, hot shower!!!

So, the Petal Pedal was a huge success! The ride was awesome! The company was awesome! The food and beverage were awesome! And the memories I am taking away from this adventure are awesome! What a great day, and what a great ride, and what a great friend!

Congratulations to Scott Taube for completing his very first century ride!!! :-)

Ahhhhh, yes.... I can hardly wait for STP.....

Friday, June 18, 2010


YES!!! You read it right. If summer isn't going to come our way, then we are going to head off to find summer. And what better place to go as a family than to Disneyland!!! :-)

This morning we will leave to head to Portland. This evening we will enjoy dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory (I need to carbo load for tomorrow), and then go to Grammy & Papa's place for the night, perhaps enjoy a soak in the hot tub before bed time. Tomorrow I will be riding in the Petal Pedal down in Silverton, OR. My good friend, Scott Taube, and myself will be attempting the 100 mile route tomorrow! Then, on Sunday, we will enjoy Father's Day with Grandpa, Papa and Great Grandpa... once again celebrating together with 4 generations of Neitling boys all together!!! :-)

On Monday morning we fly out from Portland down to sunny, southern California. Yes, Disneyland Hotel will be our home for the next week... along with 3 full days in the parks!!! :-)

So, when you don't see any updated posts from me this next week, now know why! ;-)

I will have plenty of photos and topics of discussion when we return at the end of the month. And hopefully, by then, summer will have decided to show itself back here at home for this year!!!

Take care one and all..... se ya real soon!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Catchin' Up After A Long Weekend

Boy, oh boy.... what a fast-paced, fun-filled weekend we just had. So fast, so busy, so hectic, that it is now already Wednesday, and I am just now sitting down to blog about it! Of course, Monday I was back to work, and yesterday was the last day of school, so this morning actually feels like the start of the new week to me.

Evan's All-Star team played in a baseball tournament over the weekend at Bender Fields in Lynden. They had two games on Saturday, and then another two games on Sunday. All in all, they played really well, and ultimately came within just one out of going on to play in the championship game! There were some very tense, nail biting moments for us parents/fans throughout the tournament. The boys finished off with two wins and two losses, with the last loss coming down to a tie-breaker playoff!!!

So, here is a run-down of just how our weekend went..... get ready.

I came home Saturday morning from work and unpacked, changed into my cycling gear, and hit the road on my bike to get a quick 20 mile ride in before Evan's first game. Tracie got the kids and everything else ready to go, and then headed to the ball fields shortly after 9am. I arrived at the fields at just after 10am, finishing a very nice 20 mile ride in just over an hour. Evan's first game was just starting. We watched our team play to victory, then afterwards headed immediately to the Nooksack Valley High School to get Evan registered for fall tackle football, and to get all of his gear. Once we were done with that, we headed to the Everson Auction barn, where I had hoped to purchase as many as four head of beef. We ate lunch there, and spent two and a half hours looking for cattle to purchase, leaving with none!!! When we were done, it was time to head back to the ball fields for game #2. After another win, we finished off the evening with dinner at the Nuthouse Grill.

Sunday morning, I hit the road once again, this time riding 30 miles before arriving at the ball fields for Evan's first game. Immediately after Evan's game ended, we hit the road to make it into Bellingham, where we stopped of for a very quick bite to eat at Subway, then headed over to CTK for a child dedication ceremony, involving some very close personal friends of ours. We made it just in time, all of us looking like weekend warriors, and Evan still in his uniform. After celebrating this very special time with our good friends, and taking part in this very special moment in their lives, we once again had to hit the road at a fast pace, racing back to the ball fields to get Evan there on time for warm-ups before game #2 of the day. This game went long, was a nail-biter, and ultimately went on to a tie-breaker, which we finally ended up losing at around 4:45pm. Everyone was exhausted when it was all done. We had been planning to attend a birthday party and bbq at our good friends, Marty & Tiffs, but Evan was so tired and emotional afterwards, all he wanted to do was to go home. As it turned out, no one had taken care of the farm animals or the dogs that morning either, so we really needed to go home and take care of family and farm.

Next thing we know, it's Monday morning, and I am back off to work, and the kids are heading back for their last full day of school for the year!!! Tuesday comes, and the kids finished school, so excited to begin summer break.... which means they can now stay up late, and sleep in most of the time. After school let out, we picked the kids up and took them to town to go see the movie "Marmaduke". Afterwards, we went to Homestead and had dinner, then came home to rest and call it a day.

And now here I am, sitting here on this Wednesday morning.... realizing just how much we have to accomplish before we leave for Portland on Friday for our vacation. And, I go to work tomorrow, which means we have a terrifically busy day ahead of us today!

WHEW!!!!! That brings us back up to speed around here. Now I must go start planning out how today is going to go.... laundry, packing, shopping, lists, cycling stuff together, etc...... Oh, and lots and lots of prayer for sunshine!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Evan's an All-Star!!!

Holy Cow!!! What in the world has happened over the past several days around here?!?!?!?! Pure craziness, a whirl wind of activity, and a complete change to our plans for the rest of the week and this weekend!!! Why?????........

Well, on Monday evening, Evan had try-outs for the All-Star baseball team, a team that is being put together to play competitively in tournaments throughout the summer. Try-outs were held over two evenings, and there were about a half a dozen more players trying out than the final roster would be for the team. We did our very best to help Evan understand that he was trying to make it onto the team by doing his very best at the try-outs. We let him know that he needed to show the coaches his very best the entire time, to show them why they would want Evan Neitling to be on their All-Star team. In addition, we also made it very clear that he stood a very good chance of not making the team, especially since he is one of the younger players trying out, and he is only in his second season playing this level of ball......

So, I get an e-mail yesterday morning informing us that Evan has been selected to play on the All-Star team!!! I couldn't believe it. To add to the excitement, our first tournament is this very weekend, on Saturday and Sunday!!! With that, the coaches want to have the team practice prior, so we have practices both this evening, and again tomorrow evening! It looks as though baseball will rule our lives for pretty much the duration of the summer!!! Evan will now be playing regular summer league ball with his Nooksack team, and also in tournament play with his All-Star team........ time for Mom & Dad to get some more comfortable bleacher chairs!!!!! ;-)

In addition to all of the baseball madness going on here this week and weekend, we have had the joy of having the Roosma kids stay with us this week as well. We have a child dedication at our church to attend on Sunday, as well as a birthday party/bbq on Sunday afternoon. The Everson beef auction is on Saturday, along with Evan's 2 tournament baseball games, and Sierra will be attending a friends birthday party that day. At the same time, we may have Tracie's parents staying the nights here from tonight through Sunday, as they are coming up for the graduation of our niece, Jessie, on Friday evening.

Four new little piggies arrived on our farm here on Monday night, and are all adapting and doing very well so far. No more new baby calves just yet, although we expect 3 or 4 more any time between now and July.

Our family trip to Disneyland is right around the corner as well.... and thank goodness, I was able to sell our livestock trailer and our flatbed truck this past weekend, which has given us much needed financial relief, and the ability to go on our trip without the worry about spending money!!! Praise God for allowing that to happen when and how it did!!! :-)

So, it is now Thursday already. Time to get kids ready for school, then to get farm chores done for the morning, then time to pay bills, then to go grocery shopping, and hopefully there will be time for me and my bicycle to spend together out on teh open road!!! :-)

Talk to you all soon.....

Monday, June 7, 2010

WOW, What a Weekend!!!

This weekend was a busy, exciting, fast-paced weekend, that brought about good things for us. I feel as if I blinked and the weekend is over...crazy!

My previous entry talks about one of the good things that happened over the weekend... the birth of a new calf here, the first for this year, and the first of an expected 4 that we are waiting for. Her name is now officially "Layla", and she is a real cutie. Today we will tag her ear, and hopefully get a few good photos that I can post in my next entry.

This weekend was an exciting weekend for all of us, but especially for Evan. Evan's Nooksack Pioneers baseball team.... the same team that had an awesome, undefeated spring season, played in a tournament over the weekend. The team did fantastic, playing very competetive baseball against other really good teams. The games were close and exciting to watch.... and in the end, Evan and his team were victorious!!! They won all 4 of their games throughout the tournament, which led them into the final championship game yesterday afternoon. The championship game was intense and excting, and the team had to come back from a 0-2 deficit, to finally end up winning the game by a score of 3-2!!! Yes, our boys went completely undefeated throughout the tournament, and won the championship game as well..... these were some very excited 8,9 and 10 year olds!!!!! :-) What a bunch of fun we all had over the weekend. And it has given us a good taste of what our lives are going to be like for the next 8-10 years, with Evan being the sports fanatic that he is!!! LOL :-)

With all of this going on over the weekend, I still managed to work a 24 hour shift on Saturday, missing the nice weather and the great baseball games! :-( However, I did manage to get both our livestock trailer, and our Ford flatbed farm truck sold over the weekend!!! This is great news, as it has brought us some very much needed financial relief, which will take a weight off of my shoulders for at least another month!!! :-)

After a long, fast weekend... we decided to celebrate last night... and where does Evan like to go to celebrate? Milt's Pizza in Lynden!!! So, it was pizza last night.... and our good friends, Bill and Jenn Roosma are off enjoying time together in Mexico, so their kiddos, Jacob and Anna, came to stay with us for this next week. So, after pizza, we all headed home, where we sat together and watched the movie "Alice in Wonderland".

And now, here we are... it's Monday morning already!!! Time to get all 4 kids up and moving, and ready for school today. Grammy and Papa, who have been with us all weekend (came to watch the baseball tournament), will be leaving us to go back to Portland today. And Tracie and myself, we will be starting the process of trying to get back to our routine, as well as to start preparing for a week with 4 kids, and the arrival on Thursday of Grandma and Grandpa, who are coming up for the graduation ceremony of our niece, Jessica.

To add even more to the excitment of our lives.... we will be bringing home 4 new wiener pigs to the farm this evening!!! Future delicious pork products!!! :-)

So, off I go to get the week started. To all of you... have a wonderful week, filled with the joy and happiness and blessings of God almighty!!! :-)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Good Things!!!

Yesterday turned out to be a good day. As luck would have it, a bunch of good things just happened yesterday. Although I didn't get a workout or a bike ride in at all yesterday, a lot of other good stuff did happen, and it made the whole day worth it in the end!

The first good thing that happened was that Papa and I installed new fluorescent light fixtures out in the garage, which added much needed and wanted light to a dark space. Papa had found three of these light fixtures at a garage sale @ The Roloff's farm (The people fromthe TV show "Little People Big World). He purchased the fixtures, along with a nice bike rack all together for $50. So, we had planned to install all three fixtures in the garage, but only managed to install the two. Turns out, the third one was missing a critical part... one whole end of the fixture! Now, you might think, "How can that be a good thing that happened?" Well, the good thing that happened in all of this is that we got two lights installed, and a lot of good light in the garage now. The other good thing that happened is that Papa and I enjoyed a great laugh over the third light not being all there. Whi is that? Well, because when we discovered that we didn't have everythign for the third light, I simply stated to Papa, "Huh, guess you got ripped off by the little people!" Papa just started laughing, and then I started laughing, and we both had a great laugh over the whole thing!!!

The second good thing that happened was that the girls called us to join them for lunch right as we were finishing up with our project. We met them @ Jakes in Lynden, where we had a really good lunch! :-)

Next, we all headed off to the kids' school for their annual jog-a-thon. Both kids did great, had alot of fun, ran a whole lot of laps, and earned money for a good school cause! We had a good time watching them, and I even helped out with tracking laps of a group of the kids.

After we were done at the jog-a-thon, it was time to head on over to the baseball fields @ Smith and Northwest, for Evan's first game of the weekend tournament. While the girls and Evan headed directly on over to the fields, Papa and I stopped back off at the house to see about someone who had called on wanting to purchase out livestock trailer earlier. When we got to the house, we discovered that one of our pregnant cows was in the middle of giving birth to a new calf!!! :-)

So, we all went to Evan's baseball game, where we had a really good time, and Evan's team played really good baseball. They won their game with a score of 13-1!!! In addition, Evan was put in to pitch the last inning of the game (he has not been a pitcher), and he did very well. It was a lot of fun, and a good time for us all. :-)

After the good basball game was over, we all headed to Milt's pizza in Lynden for Friday night pizza night! We had a good time eating and enjoying pizza together.

When we finally returned home after all of the good events of the day, we were blessed to have a newborn black Angus heiffer calf in the front pasture!!! :-) She is adorable, and appears to be quite healthy.

So, all in all, yesterday was a really good day. And now, today, Evan will play two more baseball games, and I will miss them both, as I will be going back to work. If all goes well today for Evan's team, then we will be enjoying more good baseball tomorrow as well. :-)

God is good, life is good.... I hope you all have a good weekend!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June? It can't possibly be!!!

I am finding it very hard to believe that today is already June 3rd.... and the day is nearly over already!!! I mean, what, with the completely horrible weather we have been having around here for the past few weeks, it is very hard to imagine that it isn't still March or April. Seriously, it is June, and I can't even do yard work because we llive in a swamp right now!

On a brighter note... Grammy & Papa arrived today, to stay with us for a long weekend visit. The kids are very happy to have them here right now. The weather actully broke and cleared up this afternoon, so dad (Papa) and I headed out for a nice afternoon bike ride together... riding the Sumas loop for 23 miles. It was nice, and relaxing.

Tracie has gone off to be with her girls for the evening, poker night! It will be good for her, and I hope she has a great time!

I started my physical therapy on my right kneee today... it went well, and I have homework excercises to start doing as of tomorrow.

It is time now to go get the kids starting to think about bed. For us adults, time to sit and veg for a while!!!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Stay tuned,there is bound to be more good stuff coming real soon, I am certain of it!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

62 miles and breakfast before church

So, it's Sunday morning and the crack of dawn... of course, most people would probably be sleeping in this morning. I, however, am not most people, and so I did NOT sleep in. Instead, I arose early, enjoyed a few cups of fresh hot coffee and a small bite to eat to put some much needed nutrtion into my body, and got myself prepared for heading out on the bike!

I left the house at five minutes before 6am. I rode for 62.5 miles, going all of the way out west into Blaine, and then continuing on all around Drayton Harbor, out around Semiahmoo, and down through Birch Bay and the state park along the water. It was glorious! A beautiful and scenic ride, peaceful and quiet. I kept on riding from Birch Bay and worked my way down to Ferndale, and then on into Bellingham, where I rode along the Boulevard and on into Fairhaven. In Fairhaven, I finally rode to fire station 2, where I ended my morning ride at 9:35am, with a total of 62.5 miles logged... tired and feeling good! :-)

I headed inside and met up with the crew, Peter Knuckey, Drew Trimakas and John MacDonald. Sunday breakfast was being prepared, so I enjoyed a hot cp of coffee and relaxed while waiting to eat. We all sat down to a big breakfast scramble of eggs, potatoes, onions, peppers, bacon and cheese.... and boy did it hit the spot for me!!!

After breakfast, I hit the showers to get cleaned up and ready for church. My family all arrived while I was showering, brining me a fresh set of clothes, and to pick me and the bike up to head to church together.... so nice! :-)

We headed to the 11:30am service at church, and afterwards enjoyed lunch at Billy McHales. After lunch, we all headed over to the bowling alley for an afternoon of family bowling. It was a great morning, great ride, great breakfast, and great day with the family!!!

I am most certainly, truly blessed :-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

OK, I'm now a blogger...who knew?!?!?!?!

Yes, indeed it is true.... I am now officially a blogger myself. No longer simply a blog follower, or only blogging to my site, but now out here for the world to see!

As with everything new to me... it will take me a bit of time to get my blog up and running smoothly and regularly. I will spend time here and there to learn the ins and outs of this blog, and find ways to make good changes and to personalize it. And as I do, I will continue to regularly blog in journal format as often as possible, keeping myself and whomever might be interested, up to date on the life and times of me and my life!

Thanks to you if you have come here and are reading this. Hopefully you will continue to come back and follow along. Hopefully I will have enough to blog about regularly to keep your attention. Hopefully this will be a record that I can one day look back on and enjoy as I share this with my two wonderful kids, Evan and Sierra.

As for right now, well, it is Memorial Day weekend. I am off from work for a full week, and of course, the weather is cool and wet and windy! However, we are going to make the very best of it.... and we will find fun family things to do, such as go bowling, or roller skating, or to the movies. So, it's time for me to get this weekend to do farm chores!

Have a great weekend... I'll be seeing you :-)